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Blue on Blue: Unthinkable Distance, Unspeakable Sorrow

    SOLO TENOR, 2*2*2*2  4*3*3*1 Timpani (5 drums), 2 Perc, Piano/Celeste, Harp, Strings, [Percussion Requirements: Crash Cymbals Glockenspiel, Snare Drum, 3 Suspended Cymbals (low, medium, high), Large Tam-Tam (beaters + trgl.beater) Bass Drum,
    Small Triangle

    Duration: ca. 23 minutes
    Composed: 2014

    Programme Note: The tenor soloist creates the role of Richard Léger, father of fallen soldier, Sgt. Marc Léger. The piece, very simply, is about a father’s love for his son.  The first movement is very joyful and energetic and is about being a proud, first-time parent.  The second movement is fast, rhythmic and percussive, but much darker.  It is about hearing the news of Marc’s death and not being able to believe it.  The third movement is a recitative with very limited text.  It is presented in almost a stuttering style.  The fourth movement, Adagio, is an open letter to Marc saying how much he is loved and missed, and that he will never be forgotten.  It ends with the orchestra singing while the solo violin recapitulates a theme from the beginning of the movement.  The text was created by the composer through interviews with Richard and Claire Léger who live in Stittsville, Ontario. Although the piece is written from one father’s perspective, the topics are universal and felt by the survivors of any loved one killed in battle: love and loss; struggle; guilt; pride and sorrow.

    Premiere: Ottawa Symphony OrchestraFirst performance by Richard Margison and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa, November 14, 2014.

    Kelly-Marie Murphy, composer